sunset harvest

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Annie Again

Once again Annie came through with a wonderful easy recipe for me to try for a friends annual cookie exchange party. In the past I have typically chosen a complex recipe and it never failed that it ended with me putting in way too much effort followed up by a call to my BF in California complaining about how much work just went into the dozens of cookies I just made. So thankfully this year Annie gave me her recipe for Thumbprint Cookies. These bring up great memories of spending Christmas with my Papa growing up as well. Christmas Eve was always spent at my Papa's house. He over did Christmas every single time, even after my mom and aunts would beg him not to go so above and beyond. I can remember the words coming out of their mouths after each and every gift was given, "John that's too much. Next year you don't need to do so much." But that never stopped him! As the oldest grandchild I was so thrilled each time Christmas rolled back around because I knew without a doubt that Christmas eve would be the best part of Christmas. Sure the presents were over the TOP but the memories and the traditions that he started and did year after year will be a part of me forever. He would always have the same dessert line up and that included the cookies that were made from Roslyn bakery in Indianapolis that were just like these. Even though we always had the ham and all the side dishes first, my sister Katy and I would take turns walking by the dessert table over and over again and grabbing a cookie on our passing. Holidays can be hard when you are missing that special family member, or multiple members, however it is the little things that trigger the memories that matter the most.
I was supposed to bring 4 dozen cookies the exchange. I doubled the recipe to make sure I had enough, if you cut the recipe in half you should end up with approximately 3 dozen cookies. Mix the butter, Brown sugar, egg yolks, vanilla, flour and salt till incorporated. Place pecan pieces in a Ziploc bag and roll or pound into small pieces. Roll the dough into balls and then roll in the pecan pieces. Place on baking sheet and bake 6-8 minutes. I used my small cookie scoop to keep the cookies small and so I made sure I had enough for cookie exchange. Turns out, I made enough for the cookie exchange and then thought I would freeze the rest for Christmas, but I don't know what happened to the cookies I was going to freeze..they disappeared! Sad to say, that it was all me. Grace maybe had one..Doug had maybe 4 and Jack didn't have any, so I consumed way too many of these cookies!
Remove cookies and press a dent into the dough. I found that my melon ball scoop worked best to make a nice dent in the cookie, but you could also use the back of a spoon or even just a small measuring spoon. Place back in the oven for 1-2 more minutes.
To make the icing mix together the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, milk, and vanilla. You can either spoon the icing into the cookies or pipe in with a decorating tip. Make sure the cookies are cooled before you start putting the icing in. I enjoyed these cold from the fridge, obviously, as I don't have any in the freezer for Christmas!

Thumbprint Cookies
from Annie
(Makes about 3 dozen)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt

Combine and roll into balls. Roll in crushed pecans and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 6-8 minutes, remove and press down with thumb or back of a spoon. Place back in oven for 1-2 minutes. Remove and let cool.

3 oz cream cheese
1 stick butter
1 tsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup powder sugar

Mix together and spoon or pipe into cookies


  1. many good memories of Papa....thanks! I have always felt sorry for Betsy being the youngest grandchild....she doesn't have all the great memories of Papa or the Roseyln cookies....I'll have to make these this Christmas in memory of they seem pretty easy....of course I don't have anything to "pipe" the frosting into the cookies, so I guess my will not be as pretty as yours or Roseyln's
    P.S. LOVED the Christmas card photos....ADORABLE....thanks

  2. You know that you probably made your mother cry when she read this post, right? That's okay, it's a happy cry...all those wonderful memories. He was such a great dad and grandfather...always those wonderful memories of Christmas and birthdays, but also just the everyday memories as well as he loved, loved, loved being with you kids. Nice cookies.